Like many of you, I have questions about how the Windows 10 upgrade will work, especially for people who want to perform a clean install of the operating system. And while I don’t have all of the answers yet, I do have some information that you will find useful.
The basics of the Windows 10 upgrade are simple enough: you have an eligible PC or device, like a Windows 7 laptop or a Windows 8.1 2-in-1 PC. And sometime between now and July 29, 2016, you accept Microsoft’s free upgrade offer. The upgrade is downloaded to your PC using Windows Update and, after you accept the prompts, is installed on your PC.
But what about later? What if you wish to reinstall?
If you think about the way upgrades work now, you can of course choose what to keep at the time of the initial upgrade. So if you choose to keep “nothing,” you will do a sort of clean install right up front.
You can of course wipe the machine later using PC Reset or PC Refresh if you wish to as well.
But what if you want to do a “real” clean install?
Microsoft tells me that it will be possible to do so. And that a key part of this process is that it will save a product key tied to the previously upgraded PC or device in Windows Store. This is how Windows 10 will later know that the install is allowed: It’s “one of the benefits of the new delivery system,” a Microsoft representative told me.
This suggests that Windows 10 install media will be made available to upgraders, much as Microsoft today makes Windows 8.1 install media available for download. But I haven’t yet confirmed that this is the case, but I will do so.
Also, while Windows 10 will be a free upgrade during the first year, what about those people who don’t have eligible machines, like those with VMs or whatever? What is the retail price of Windows 10?
In addition to the OEM versions of Windows 10, which are aimed at new PCs, Microsoft will of course offer retail and electronic versions of Windows 10. And the pricing is the same as it is for Windows 8.1: $119.99 for Windows 10 Home, $199.99 for Windows 10 Pro, and $99.99 for the Windows 10 Pro Pack, which you can use to upgrade Windows 10 Home to Pro.
What are the other pressing questions you have about this upgrade?